Speech therapy after thyroidectomy
Common complaints of patients who have received thyroidectomy include dysphonia (voice dysfunction) and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). One cause of these surgical outcomes is recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis. Many studies have discussed the effectiveness of speech therapy (e.g., voice therapy and dysphagia therapy) for improving dysphonia and dysphagia, but not specifically in patients who have received thyroidectomy. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to discuss issues regarding speech therapy such as voice therapy and dysphagia for patients after thyroidectomy. Another aim was to review the literature on speech therapy for patients with recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis after thyroidectomy. Databases used for the literature review in this study included, PubMed, MEDLINE, Academic Search Primer, ERIC, CINAHL Plus, and EBSCO. The articles retrieved by database searches were classified and screened for relevance by using EndNote. Of the 936 articles retrieved, 18 discussed “voice assessment and thyroidectomy”, 3 discussed “voice therapy and thyroidectomy”, and 11 discussed “surgical interventions for voice restoration after thyroidectomy”. Only 3 studies discussed topics related to “swallowing function assessment/treatment and thyroidectomy”. Although many studies have investigated voice changes and assessment methods in thyroidectomy patients, few recent studies have investigated speech therapy after thyroidectomy. Additionally, some studies have addressed dysphagia after thyroidectomy, but few have discussed assessment and treatment of dysphagia after thyroidectomy.